Contact tracing during the time of COVID-19 has been a hot topic on our end. If you have been following along we shared the initial announcement by Apple and Google, as well as plans to roll out their own versions of a contact tracing application by Franceand Australia.
If you are not already familiar, this proposed application by these governments and tech companies will actively track your location while the application is installed. They claim that each user is anonymous, and the only real interaction would be if you tested positive or someone you had come in contact with tested positive. The application would then take the data from where you have been and see who you may have come in contact with based on the Bluetooth signal from your phone. At this time, if you had been in contact with someone who tested positive or vice versa, you would be notified.
At present this application, at least in the United States, is on an opt-in basis. In order to "protect privacy." The real question is as this continues, will this change? The government may not make it mandatory, but your job or your child's school might.
This has the potential to be a required aspect of entering a school or gaining employment in the age of Coronavirus. If these institutions make this a requirement, what is preventing them from continued tracking when this is over. Many company-owned devices are already tracked, and there are ways to work around that, but this will bring their power to your own personal devices.
As different countries continue on the path of rolling out these applications, we are going to see what path this is headed down. We cannot stress enough that any policy changes that infringe on our privacy, security, and civil liberties, will not go away when this pandemic is over. The time to take back your privacy is now, or be caught treading water when these become mandated across the board.
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